19

Oct

The future of CRM and ERP: Dynamics 365

Microsoft have recently announced Dynamics 365, which is a new solution combining Microsoft’s Dynamics ERP and CRM applications.

There are two Dynamics 365 editions, these are Enterprise and Business edition. The Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition is a combined Dynamics AX and CRM solution and is targeted at Enterprise customers. The Dynamics Business edition will be Dynamics NAV and CRM and is targeted at Small to Medium business (up to 250 employees). The Dynamics Business edition is expected to the launched in October, 2017. The Dynamics 365 Enterprise and Business editions will replace Dynamics AX and CRM as standalone solutions i.e. they will no longer exist as standalone applications.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 will become the flagship CRM/ERP solution from Microsoft attracting significant research and development and mindshare within Microsoft and the partner community. 

With the launch of Dynamics 365 recently in the US, Empired is pleased to announce that the local Australian launch of Dynamics 365 will be held at our Dynamics Day in Sydney, on November 3rd.

More Solution, More Value

Dynamics 365 brings to the table a whole lot more capability to meet your business requirements by combining new features available from Microsoft’s research and development team for CRM and AX combined. For example, a typical solution for a customer in IT services industry who deploys both software and hardware solution may require the following solution set:

  • Microsoft CRM professional to manage Sales Force Automation, Marketing, Customer Service and Microsoft Social Engagement to acquire and retain customers
  • Microsoft Project Services to manage the implementation of the projects
  • Microsoft Field Services to manage the break/fix and schedule maintenance of the hardware

Based on our early access to estimated pricing, the before and after Dynamics 365 represents a whopping 50% increase in value by bundling all of this functionality in one Dynamics 365 license, rather than three discrete Dynamics product licenses.

Let’s take another example, this time incorporating AX. Let’s say a customer is a Wholesales/Distributor and they require:

  • Microsoft CRM professional to manage Sales Force Automation, Marketing and Customer Service and Microsoft Social Engagement
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX to fulfill orders

The estimated pricing before and after Dynamics 365 again represents a significant increase in value of 50%.

More Vertical Focus

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise has the footprint to address deep vertical functionality required for industries such as Retail (Retail headquarters, POS etc.), Wholesale/Distribution (WMS), Professional Services Automation (PSA) to address Architects, Accounting Services, Engineering Services, Law etc. and Field Services for industries such as Equipment Manufacturing, Repairs and Servicing etc.

More Agile

Dynamics 365 features a common data model for business process traditionally spanning ERP and CRM. This means businesses will no longer be working in silos between traditional front and back office functions such as sales versus warehouse personnel – they will all be working with the same data! 

Other Dynamics 365 innovations are PowerApps and Flow. Microsoft Flow is a sophisticated framework to configure new or existing business workflows using tools targeting both business and technical users. Business users can automate tasks over multiple services via Microsoft Flow using Dynamics 365 and other Microsoft (Office 365, One Drive etc.) and non-Microsoft Services (Twitter, Google Drive etc..) without having to write code. 

PowerApps provides the ability for functional users to build apps for tablets and phones unifying services again from Microsoft (Office 365, One Drive etc.) and non-Microsoft Services (Twitter, Google Drive etc..) without having to write code. PowerApps enables application to be configured by a business user for a sales representative going onsite with a customer. The App could consume services from Customer Service i.e. CRM, from Accounts Receivable i.e. AX and documents i.e. Office 365 to provide a total view of the customer on the road. 

More Mobility

Dynamics 365 has a number of enhancements in the mobility app focused on making users more productive such as suggested actions based upon Azure learning. For example, if a customer has not been contact on an opportunity for a certain period, a suggested action card maybe surfaced to call the customer.  Further, there is now mobility cover both back and front office. The mobility user experience and framework has been significantly improved. The user experience has been significantly enhanced with more “stacking” of cards thus users will have less clicks to get content. The mobility framework has been significantly improved including the ability to provide offline capability for remote staff.

Conclusion

Dynamics 365 is the new CRM and ERP platform from Microsoft. Dynamics 365 provides the combined feature of Dynamics CRM and AX in one solution. In addition to the combined CRM and ERP platform Microsoft have made significant improvements to workflow, app configuration, mobility and BI to deliver a higher value of business benefit to your organisation

Posted by: Rob Rudd, Solution Specialist Dynamics AX | 19 October 2016

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